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Targeted Antibiotic Use May Help Cure Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia

The antibiotic tigecycline, when used in combination with current treatment, may hold the key to eradicating chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) cells, according to new research. ‌

The University of Glasgow led study, published today in Nature Medicine, demonstrates the effectiveness of combining tigecycline with the drug imatinib – a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and standard first-line treatment of patients with CML.


Using cells isolated from CML patients, researchers showed that treatment with tigecycline, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infection, is effective in killing CML stem cells when used in combination with imatinib. The study also shows that the novel drug combination significantly delays relapse in pre-clinical animal models of human CML